John Pototschnik (poe-toe-sh-nick)
Many people believe that we artists have known from a very young age that we were going to become artists...and that a good deal of our childhood was spent drawing. That's far from the case with me. I recall having little exposure to the arts while growing up. It wasn't until college that I had any awareness art could actually be a career.
I was born in St. Ives, Cornwall, England at the end of WWII. My mother was a British war bride who brought me to America aboard the Queen Mary. We were reunited with my father in Wichita, KS, where he'd gone upon discharge from the service to set up a home for us. I did draw some as a child but mostly I liked to build things, in particular model cars and airplanes. There was always the sound of fine music playing in our home. This encouraged me to take up an instrument-the trumpet. I played my trumpet in bands beginning in elementary school continuing through high school.
It wasn't until as a junior in college that I became serious about art (drawing and painting). At this time I began to be absorbed in the work of famous illustrators. It was virtually impossible to find comprehensive art instruction in the 1960's in colleges. Thus, I graduated with very little trained ability.
Having gone through the Air Force ROTC program in college, I was assigned to the Space and Missile Systems Organization in El Segundo, CA as an information officer upon graduation. At night I took classes at the Art Center College, studying under David Negron and Sam McKim. Newly married when discharged from the Air Force in 1972, I moved to Dallas where I worked as a freelance illustrator for ten years.
Even as a young student in college I was told "you can't make a living in fine art." Despite this, in 1982 I made the decision to try. Since that time, I have been blessed with many collectors buying my works, both public and private. In addition I am frequently invited to judge art shows, to teach, and to speak to various art organizations. In 1992, I was awarded the John Steven Jones Fellowship and studied human anatomy under Deane Keller, and painting with Dan Gheno at the Lyme Academy of Fine Art.
My artistic influences are diverse. They range from the Barbizon painters of Corot, Daubigny and Millet, to the American tonalist, George Inness. It is my belief that all I need to know of the principles of art are to be found in the works of the Masters. My paintings are not flamboyant, not mysterious, not trendy, nor are they shocking. I am interested in depicting the truth about life, as I see it, in a naturalistic way - free of frills and bravado. I enjoy painting simple, common, everyday life and objects as things of beauty and worth. Through continued hard work, I strive to show the dignity and value of the subjects I paint. I hope to give to society paintings that transcend the culture and its ever changing tastes...paintings that speak to the heart.Selected honors and awards:
- Past president of Artists and Craftsmen Associated and the Plano Art Association
- Winner of four George Washington Honor Medals from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge (1984, 1986, 1992, 1995)
- John Steven Jones Fellowship (1992)
- ARC International Salon (1st Place Landscape, 2004; 3rd Place Landscape, 2011; Finalist: 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010-2013, 2015; PleinAir Magazine award, 2014)
- Oil Painters of America Western Regional (3rd Place, 2010)
- Outdoor Painters Society "Plein Air Southwest Salon" (Best of Show, Southwest Art Magazine award - 2013; Award of Excellence - 2014; Honorable Mention - 2015)
- Who's Who in American Art
- Who's Who in the Southwest
- Work has appeared in The Artist's Magazine, Southwest Art, American Artist, Plein Air Magazine, American Art Collector, International Artist, Western Art Collector, plus seven books.